First Lady of Springbok Rugby, Annelee Murray. Photo: HMShop

Annelee Murray may not be a Springbok rugby player herself, but she’s as much a legend as the sports stars she worked with for over 200 matches! Proudly South African and Proud Bok Supporter, Annelee is celebrating her 20 year journey as the first lady of Springbok rugby (aka the Boks’ Public Relations Manager) with a fantastic book, aptly titled, “Annelee Murray, The First Lady of Springbok Rugby”.

Written by Mark Keohane, the book shares the behind-the-scenes emotions and experiences that Annelee witnessed. She says:

I’d like to think what you are about to read is not so much my story but my Springbok rugby journey. It isn’t about me but about the many different personalities, occasions and experiences that made my years on the road with the Boks such a remarkable memory.

Annelee was with the Springbok team for 244 matches, in which time she worked with seven national coaches, 248 players and 21 Springbok captains!

In a blurb on HSMShop, Annelee says:

“I hope the book can educate and inspire supporters equally when it comes to the Springboks and the dynamics around the greatest rugby team in the world. I also hope it serves as aspiration as much as inspiration for any young woman who wants to work in sport and, in this instance, in rugby. It can be done. I am proof of that as are several other wonderfully talented professionals who worked with me.”

Her mission has been accomplished. Western Cape rugby fan Elizma Jacobs posted a photo of herself holding the book, and said on Twitter: “And out the window goes every intention of getting some sleep. Truly fascinating and I can not put it down. I want to be the next @AnneleeM Thank you for this @mark_keohane Funny, insightful and makes me an even bigger bok fan realising they are only human.”

From Annelee’s viewpoint as Springbok PR she also got insight into the fans that support the national team. She says she believes there’s no other brand in SA that creates as much emotion – good or bad – as the Springboks, and that “South African supporters are just unique, like no other in the world”. She says Bok supporters know their rugby well, and can be critical… but are also the “most passionate supporters”.

Nelson Mandela’s former assistant, Zelda la Grange, who has been a great support to Annelee during her career, tweeted: “A story I know but can’t wait to read. Congratulations @AnneleeM and @mark_keohane You have done us proud to record many years of Springbok rugby. Thank you for my special copy. Xx”

Former Springbok Captain John Smit tweeted: “I can’t wait to read this, this lady @anneleemurray was there for my entire career, over 200 test matches over 19 years. She is God Mother to my boy and a close part of our family’s life. Without Annelee our Bok team would have been lost off the field. Treat yourself and get a copy.”

The book – Annelee Murray, The First Lady of Springbok Rugby – is just R295, and available to order from HMShop. It will be in retail outlets later this year. 

If you’re a rugby fan, don’t miss the Springbok’s ‘Chasing the Sun’ on Showmax International – WATCH IT HERE(in most countries).